Monday, October 4, 2010

Missing

I know I haven't posted in over a month, and I'm sorry. Things have reached crisis point over here, and I'll be needing to take some time to deal with them. This entry will be a little wordy, and could be upsetting/triggering to people who have experienced similar issues, so I apologize in advance.

Long term readers are probably familiar with the fact that I struggle a lot with social anxiety, but things have been more problematic than that for a long, long time. The first time I wanted to kill myself, and the first time I cut myself to deal with those feelings, I was 14. Since that time there have been good days and bad days, but when I was 17 the good days slowly disappeared until all I was left with was a black fog around me and my bones slowly turning to lead. I felt heavy and lifeless. I stopped eating - not because I wanted to be skinny (although as a consequence I ended up weighing around 47 kilos, with my ribs on show like a stray dog) but because I lost all desire for life. I would cut myself, or bruise myself with a coathanger as punishment for things I did wrong, for indulging in self pity, or just to briefly clear away the haze that dulled my senses and my mind. I hid my feelings and my scars from everyone - the last thing I wanted was to be found out as an 'emo' or 'attention seeking'. My depression was like being at the bottom of a deep, dark well. I could see the light way up above, and I could hear the laughter of people outside, but no warmth reached me - everything was cold and hopeless and I was certain that I would die alone there at the bottom.

When I graduated high school and got into my university of choice, things started to improve. I pushed the dark days out of my mind. I thought I had a second chance, to pretend to be a person who was likable, witty and intelligent - all the things I was certain I was not. I told myself that if I dressed well and covered up my face in a mask, I could hide the insecure person I really was. However, terror of people discovering the real me led me to relentlessly sabotage the few opportunities I had to make new friends. I didn't want to end up being rejected, so I would lie and say I had other plans any time I was asked out. Eventually I stopped going to lectures all together, out of fear that somebody would want to talk to me and I would make a fool out of myself, or bore them, or reveal how stupid I really was. Compulsory classes left me a nervous wreck. The depression was slowly creeping back, but this time it wasn't alone.

Anxiety quickly came to pervade every aspect of my life - I was in a constant state of fear, doubting my every move, endless horrifying scenarios playing out in my mind. I was occupied with thinking about all the ways my life could go wrong, and the depression would whisper that because I didn't deserve happiness everything would go wrong. Convinced that my every move would lead to disaster, I became paralyzed - even simple things like choosing where to eat for lunch or trying to decide which book to buy became insurmountable tasks. I can't count the number of times I would simply break down and give up after an hour wandering the same street or in the same store, unable to make up my mind, all the while thinking to myself how pathetic, unlovable, stupid and weak I was. The feeling like I was being chased by something terrible that would catch up with me at any moment left me unable to sleep, barely able to force myself out of the house.

My boyfriend and a close friend forced me to see a doctor when I became acutely suicidal during and following the spa weekend I was on last month (funny how when everything is objectively going right, I still feel so miserable)and began cutting again. I can't even describe how awful that time was - I was scared of dying, but I was hurting too much to go on living anymore. I saw ways to kill myself all around me - anytime I was crossing the street, waiting for the train, in the tall buildings I have classes in it was all I could think about. Some part of me knew I needed help but the rest was convinced that I didn't deserve it, didn't have legitimate problems, and was meant to suffer. Eventually, however, I was convinced to do it if not for myself, then for the people who knew and cared about me.

After seeing the doctor I've been put on SNRIs for my depression and anxiety, and will be going to see a psychologist soon. I've been on them for two weeks now, but I'm not sure how I feel. Mostly numb and worn out. I've been like this for so long that I'm scared I won't be 'me' anymore. One of the reasons I was so resistant to getting help in my younger days was because I believed my creativity came from having felt such pain so intensely, but eventually the depression stole that from me too and I became too listless to draw or write anymore.

I'm sorry that this post is photo-less and not vintage related at all. I just needed to get this off my chest. Part of the reason things got so bad for me was because I completely closed myself off from other people - I need to slowly train myself to believe that it's okay to share this part of me, that I won't be rejected or thought of as weak. I hope you all understand if I don't post regularly or comment much for a while. I don't want to lose followers, as I consider the vintage blogging community to be a real positive in my life, but I understand if it's considered inappropriate to air my issues here. Those of you who read this far, thank you and I hope to get better and come back soon.